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Fredericks back on track with qualifying mark for World Champs

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By Mark Etheridge

Last year’s Commonwealth 400-metre hurdles champion Cornel Fredericks is back in the fast lane after banging out a World Championships qualifying time in his first race in 10 months!
Fredericks was laid low by an Achilles Tendon injury and has had a frustrating time of things. But that all changed in the space of 49.50 seconds in Madrid, Spain on Saturday night.
Competing in a World Challenge meeting, Fredericks took fourth spot as Bahamas athlete Jeffery Gibson won in 48.89sec.
And the humble Fredericks admitted to feeling some strain ahead of the event.
‘I’m a happy athlete after getting the world qualifying standard. I’ve never felt so much pressure building up into a race. Normally I’m relaxed, because I know when I’m fit and healthy I will compete at my best,’ the hpc athlete told Road to Rio 2016.
‘This time it was just a strange feeling, as I wasn’t sure where I am and how my body will react to my first race since September. The men’s 400 hurdles has never been easy and its getting tougher by the year, as more athletes are running sub 49s and climbing the ladder to the top.
‘I now know my strengths as well as my weaknesses and share as much as I can with my coach [he’s now being looked after by Malcolm Arnold], so he can understand how to better myself going forward. I’m glad it went well and now I can focus more and work towards my next race.
‘My training is on track and I am in good hands and also in a more relaxed environment. I’ve been doing lots of rehab work and extra exercise to strengthen the weak spots in my body.’
Fredericks also had good things to say about top British coach Arnold: ‘He’s looking at my training. A super person and the one thing I can’t buy from him is experience. I learn from him everyday and we are building a good relationship as a team. There will be highs and lows but for me the main focus now is trust, as winners are believers! – they accept people at face value, and know that mutual trust is a major factor in building team morale and unity.’
Fredericks will be in action again on Sunday. ‘It’s a race in Lappinlahti, Finland – another tough race but looking forward to it and getting myself back to my best.’


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